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Cardinal Zen: If China doesn't change its policy, there's nothing we can expect


There are approximately 375,000 Catholics in Hong Kong. Recently the situation has grown tense on both a social and religious level. Society is speaking out, calling for democracy and religious leaders of different faiths who are coming together to ask for a change. 

Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong (China)
"You can see from the chronicles that the government has intensified persecution. They recently demolish the churches and took away the crosses from the buildings. And so there's not much we can hope for with immediate improvement.”

The situation isn't easy. In fact, according to Cardinal Zen, even though the number of Christians is rising in China, relations between the country's government and the Vatican are practically non-existent. 

Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong (China)
"Sure, as all believers, we must be optimistic. But doesn’t mean that we can hope in a immediate success because every relation depends on two parts. Now if China doesn’t change his policy, there’s nothing we can expect.”

He said Pope Francis is open to improving that relationship, but he says it will take more than just good will to trigger change.  

Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong (China) 
"And I see the Holy Father is very cautious. He’s patient, he is ready to work hard but also to be ready for a long struggle.”

Cardinal Joseph Zen is personally committed to promote the call for democracy. He recently visited Rome to take part in an Asia News International conference. It's an agency that reports on often overlooked stories related to religion in Asia.